Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dinner on the table ( the process part 1)

When it comes up in conversation, that I love to cook and we eat "sit down meals" just about every night people always seem to ask how do I do it with all the other stuff, (job and farm).
I thought I would put together a couple of entries of the why and how of our meals.
I am considering putting together a how to class that would teach this process. Don't be fooled I love to cook, when I have time.There is not enough time in every day. Sit down meals sometimes includes the sofa and Glenn Beck on TV.
I am happy to spend 4 hours in my kitchen on a Sunday, and I have already begun to think about the Easter Dinner.
However I hate to arrive home from work exhausted and have nothing planned for dinner and have to whip something together.
When this happens the meal is either so/so or we go out and spend money we do not have.
I can not remember ever going out to eat as a child.
My Mother stayed home when I was young and had dinner and the family on a strict schedule, dinner was at 6pm.As I got older and had things after school if you were not home for dinner at 6pm , when you did arrive home you found a plate covered with plastic wrap in the microwave.
This constant in my life brought much comfort and joy. I think it was more about the family time then the menu.My Mom would always ask about our day and my Dad would play with his food, he would put maraschino cherries on the end of his nose and suspend peas in the air.
Dinner at home consisted of allot of budget stretching meals ie: boiled dinner,roast chicken, meatloaf.
The bread was white, sliced and in a plastic wrapper, dessert was on Sunday and often pudding, jello or fruit cocktail in the can. We drank whole white milk for dinner and Zarex the rest of the day.
Some times my Mom would mix powdered milk and stretch the whole milk.
My Moms meals that were on the weekly menu were ones that no recipes were to be had.
I had these dreams of someday being a wife who greets her husband with a 3 course meal on the table when he gets home from work. My mother planted this dream in my head and it stuck. It was not exactly how it happened,for Bob and I.
Days were full of babies, and we were too poor to experiment with groceries.
Most nights, I was far too tired to make much more than a hamburger helper.
My husband made it clear that he was MR.Meat and potatoes, so I went in search of cookbooks.
By the time, the children were school age, I had gathered a nice collection of cook books and some experience.
As I approach twenty five years married I have now figured out this thing called Dinner.
I still collect cook books and have pages and pages of recipes I have printed out and plan to one day catalogue(in my spare time).
I almost never fallow a recipe step by step, the cook books are more for inspiration now and to help me with my meal planning.I love to look through the pages and get idea's and play with them. If you follow every recipe to a T, you will be poor fast! Being flexable and trying new things is key.
Meal planning is what really works, it makes all the difference.
I shop on Fridays, because it's payday(funny how that works).
Watch for additional post's this week end to learn more about this process that is "Dinner on the table."

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